Adrenal fatigue is a depletion of the normal cortisol levels in your body due to prolonged stress that eventually surpasses the body's ability to respond. The subsequent low cortisol creates symptoms including severe morning fatigue and difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, trouble concentrating, difficulty making decisions, anxiety, depression, feeling overwhelmed and symptoms of low blood sugar. Many suffering from adrenal fatigue describe a long history of stressful events that they had been previously able to "handle". They often note the insidious onset of fatigue and difficulty "handling" stress anymore. Many women and men begin to blame themselves that they're just getting lazy or they become concerned that they are suffering from depression. They don't realize that they may besuffering from adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue can be reversed if it is caught and if the proper nutrition and lifestyle choices are made.
How do we test for Adrenal Fatigue?
The choice method of testing for adrenal fatigue is through saliva. Saliva offers a great, non-invasive way to look at the adrenal hormones, namely cortisol, at various points over the course of the day. It is much easier to see how the cortisol levels vary and if they are following the normal pattern throughout the day. As a matter of fact, this is one of the methods that NASA uses for their testing. It is much easier than blood testing - especially because physicians normally look at cortisol levels at four points in one day (morning, noon, evening and night). An adrenal fatigue test by blood would usually require four separate visits throughout the day to have the blood drawn.
The highly trained bioidentical hormone doctors within the BodyLogicMD network look for low levels of cortisol when trying to make the diagnosis of adrenal fatigue. For an adrenal fatigue test through blood to be accurate, it would require the assurance that the patient would not get nervous when they were having a needle stuck into their arm to get blood drawn. When you get nervous, your blood cortisol level may raise temporarily, which for the purpose of the test, may place cortisol levels into the normal range falsely. This may lead to a misdiagnosis. Collecting saliva is as easy as spitting into a tube. Although it's not elegant, it's certainly not stressful! So, it is more likely to see the true level of cortisol and make the appropriate diagnosis with the salivary adrenal fatigue test.
The Adrenal Fatigue Solution
Treatment for adrenal fatigue requires a great deal of cooperation between the physician and the patient - they need to be able to work together as a team. Lifestyle adjustments may include getting enough sleep (trying to be in bed by 10pm), limiting your exposure to computers and television just before bed and minimizing other stressors such as work or relationships. Dietary treatments include limiting sugars, white flour and caffeine as well as focusing on a diet of lean proteins and complex carbohydrates like vegetables. It is also important to maintain a stable blood sugar by eating small amounts of food every two to three hours. Nutritional support includes pharmaceutical grade multivitamins, antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium.
You and your physician may also utilize adrenal adaptagenic herbs and glandular products to help support the adrenals as they heal. In the most severe cases, where the activities of daily life are affected, bioidentical cortisol could be used in the short term along with the diet, lifestyle and nutritional interventions. The highly trained physicians at BodyLogicMD can help you identify and successfully treat your adrenal fatigue. And it all starts with the adrenal fatigue saliva test.